In a testimony on Thursday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, insurance mogul Maurice ‘Hank’ Greenberg, who headed American International Group Inc. (AIG) for 38 years before departing under pressure in 2005, directly blamed the executives who replaced him for the company’s collapse and refused to accept any responsibility despite coming under fire from lawmakers on his role in fostering the firm’s financial products division.
“I think they got greedy. I think they wrote considerably more business than they should have”. “Let me be clear,” Greenberg said, “AIG’s business model did not fail – its management did.” Greenberg also told the congressional panel the U.S. government’s effort to prop up the firm – to the tune of nearly $ 200 billion in government aid – has “failed” and that the company should be restructured.
Greenberg added AIG’s current management should be replaced and the government should reduce its stake in the firm from 80% to 15%.
AIG, in a statement released by the company, called Greenberg’s claims ” implausible.” [ via Dow Jones]